Knoxville — Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz believes that when everyone steps into a voting booth, or completes an absentee ballot, he or she should remember the men and women who have protected that right.
Schultz was in Knoxville Wednesday night to discuss ways his office is honoring Iowa's veterans. Available on the Secretary of State's website (http://www.sos.iowa.gov) is a link in which one can write a tribute to a service man or woman, past or present. Printed forms are also available for those without Internet access.
In addition, the office is giving away pins, in the shape of Iowa, decorated with gold, the design of the Iowa State Flag and a yellow ribbon. Schultz encourages those who receive pins to wear them on Election day.
Schultz said other states have done this. Iowa has a high veteran population, including several who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
"We wanted to do something to honor them," Schultz said. "This is a program that will continue as long as I'm Secretary of State."
The online memorial is described by Schultz as community-oriented and person. Links to popular social media websites are included on the memorial to help spread the messages of support.
The site also allows people to search the name of a particular Iowa veteran, to specifically honor him or her.
Schultz touted another accomplishment his office has had. Today, soldiers serving overseas are able to vote via fax or email. In the past, this privilege was only given to those serving in battlefields. Soldiers who were overseas on Election Day, but not in battle, were previously forced to mail absentee ballots. Not all of these ballots were received in time to be counted.